The average high temperature is 59.2° F and the average low is 42.4° F. July is the hottest month with an average high of 82.4° F and an average low of 63.7° F. January is the coldest month with an average high of 32.5° F and an average low of 21.5° F. Cleveland receives abundant year-round precipitation with an average of 40.82 inches a year (Annual Climatological Survey).
|Data Source: NOAA National Climatic Data Center|
Lake Erie has a significant impact on the climate of Cleveland. Because water heats and cools more slowly than land, warm temperatures persist longer into fall and cold temperatures persist longer into spring than they otherwise would. The greatest effect the lake has on Cleveland's climate is the amount of snow the city receives. During the winter when the jet stream dips down over the Great Lakes, the water--which is much warmer than the surrounding land--heats and humidifies the cold polar air. The moist air rises as cloud and cools until it reaches its dew point, when it falls as snow. East Cleveland is as much as 500 feet higher in elevation than the low-lying plains of the west. When the air is driven up this escarpment it snows much more heavily. For this reason, the east side of Cleveland receives significantly more snowfall than the west ("Lake Effects").
The Bowen Ratio describes the amount of sensible heat to latent heat of a body. Because Cleveland has relatively high levels of precipitation and is located next to a large body of water, it likely has a relatively low Bowen Ratio, perhaps 0.5. However, the urban heat island effect may increase Cleveland's Bowen Ratio slightly by increasing the sensible heat. A large proportion of the Cleveland surface area is impervious, as high as 32 percent in some areas (Lower Euclid Creek). Impervious surfaces such as asphalt and concrete have low albedos; combined with other urban attributes such as skyscrapers and point and mobile sources of heat this leads to higher temperatures in the city. Cleveland is on average 2.5° F hotter, and sometimes up to 21° F hotter, than surrounding rural areas ("Hot and Getting Hotter").
"Cleveland: Geography and Climate." City-Data.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.
Lower Euclid Creek Greenway Plan. Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District, 2007.
Web. 08 Mar 2015.
"Hot and Getting Hotter: Heat Islands Cooking U.S. Cities." Climate Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar.
"Lake Effects". Green City Blue Lake. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, n.d. Web. 08 Mar
Annual Climatological Summary 1989-2014: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, OH US.
NOAA National Climatic Data Center, n.d. Web 11 Mar 2015.
"Temperate Climate Buffered by the Lake." Green City Blue Lake. The Cleveland Museum of Natural
History, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.